Simpson denies lying, abuse Tells of feeling suicidal during Bronco pursuit
Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Richard Price
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- O.J. Simpson completed testimony at his
wrongful-death civil trial Monday, steadfastly denying he so much as struck his
ex-wife even when confronted with a letter in which she wrote that he ``beat the
holy hell out of me.''
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, the families of murder victims Nicole Brown Simpson
and Ronald Goldman, introduced the letter during a 90-minute cross-examination
focused on proving Simpson to be a liar.
During his direct testimony on Friday and Monday morning, Simpson said that
he ``never lied about anything important.''
But Goldman family lawyer Daniel Petrocelli opened his cross-examination by
forcing a concession from Simpson that he had committed adultery.
In that context, Petrocelli said, ``You have lied repeatedly, haven't you?''
Simpson denied it, arguing that while infidelity was ``dishonest, I don't know if I
would characterize it as a lie.''
Later, Petrocelli brought up the letter.
That provoked angry objections from Simpson lawyer Robert Baker, who fought
to keep it out of evidence.
Although addressed to him, Simpson said he never received the undated letter
and suggested it was written as a failed effort by Nicole to dissolve their
prenuptial agreement before their divorce.
Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki allowed the letter, but told jurors they could not consider
it fact but only an indication of Nicole's state of mind.
One part of the letter referred to a September 1985 incident in which Nicole went
to the hospital with a head injury.
``There was also that time . . . you beat the holy hell out of me,'' the letter said.
``And we lied at the X-ray lab and said I fell off a bike.''
The letter also discusses a New Year's Eve 1989 ``beat-up'' for which Simpson
was convicted of spousal battery.
``I called the cops to save my life,'' Nicole wrote. ``I've never loved you since.''
However, another letter from her introduced at this trial had her pledging him her
Petrocelli also pressed Simpson about 30 pictures that appear to show him
wearing Bruno Magli shoes that match bloody footprints at the murder scene.
Simpson again denied owning the shoes.
Earlier, he choked back tears as he recounted events surrounding the murders.
His voice cracked when recalling his slow-speed chase riding with a gun in the
Bronco of his friend, Al Cowlings.
``I was in a lot of pain. I was missing Nicole, and my kids didn't cry. . . . I asked
him to take me to Nicole's grave. I was feeling a lot of pain . . . I just felt, I
guess, suicidal,'' Simpson said.
The day's last question came from Baker: ``On June 12, 1994, did you . . .
murder your ex-wife and leave her body where the kids could find it?''
Simpson's reply: ``No, absolutely not.''
TEXT OF INFO BOX BEGINS HERE:
EXCERPTS FROM NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON LETTER
On her anger: ``I'd like you to keep this letter if we split, so that you'll always
know why we split. I'd also like you to keep it if we stay together, as a reminder.
``Right now I am so angry! If I didn't know that the courts would take Sydney &
Justin away from me if I did this . . . I would f--- every guy including some that
you know just to let you know how it feels.''
On fidelity: ``I see our marriage as a huge mistake. . . . I knew what went on in
our relationship before we got married. I knew after 6 years that all the things I
thought were going on -- were! All the things I gave in to -- all the `I'm sorry for
thinking that' `I'm sorry for not believing you' -- `I'm sorry for not trusting you.'
``I made up with you all the time & even took the blame many times for your
cheating. I know this took place because we fought about it a lot & even
discussed it before we got married with my family & a minister.''
On pregnancy: ``I thought it was finally gonna be you + me -- you wanted a baby
(so you said) & I wanted a baby . . . then with each pound you were terrible.
You gave me dirty looks looks of disgust -- said mean things to me at times
about my appearance walked out on me & lied.''
``Then came the pregnancy with Justin + oh how wonderfully you treated me
again -- I remember swearing to God + myself that under no circumstances
would I let you be in that delivery room. I hated you so much.''
On trust: ``It's just so hard for me to trust you again. Even though you say you're
a different guy. That O.J. Simpson guy brought me a lot of pain heartache -- I
tried so hard with him -- I wanted so to be a good wife. But he never gave me a